Internet Privacy – is there such a thing? One of the questions we hear often is “why do I keep getting bombarded with ads for things I’ve just searched for in Google”? The primary reason is that Google indexes, stores and remembers your search criteria every time you use their search engine.
Now – in some cases this might be to your advantage but…. do you really want Google or BING remembering everything you do on the internet?
Here’s what normally happens:
When you search Google and click on a link, the search term you used is usually sent to that site, along with your browser and computer information which can often be used to uniquely identify YOU! Now that’s pretty creepy, but who cares about some random site> Those sites usually have or host 3rd party ads and those 3rd parties build profiles about you using your information and that’s why all those ads follow you everywhere you go.
Ok – so that’s a little alarming but who cares about some 3rd party ads??? Keep in mind that your profile(s) can be sold to other online advertisers (yes – Google does this regularly) and your information could potentially end up in places or with companies whom you have no control over. But that’s not all… your innocent searches are saved and these “saved” searches can be legally requested or a bad Google employee could go snooping or Google could get hacked (all of these things have already happened).
So what can you do???
DuckDuckGo.com might be the answer. DuckDuckGo is an open source search engine that allows you to browse the internet anonymously and find things pretty much instantly making your searches efficient, powerful and relevant.
DuckDuckGo brings back similar results as many other search engines on the market; however, it offers a few features that are worth a second look for the savvy Web searcher. For example:
- DuckDuckGo’s results pages are not paginated, making it easy to scroll down and find what you’re looking for quickly.
- Favicons (the small images that show up in address bar, unique to each site) are displayed next to search results for instant recognition of your favorite sites.
- Instant answers, called “zero-click info”, show up delineated by a red outline at the top of your results, depending on what your search query is.
DuckDuckGo search shortcuts:
DuckDuckGo gives searchers the ability to search within any site, using either the dropdown menu next to the main search box, or the “bang” search shortcut (an exclamation point used in tandem with the name of the Web site). There are hundreds of DuckDuckGo bang shortcuts, covering a multitude of sites varying in topics from research to entertainment.
In addition to advanced site search, DuckDuckGo offers what they call goodies, an intriguing array of all kinds of search shortcuts, anything from special keyboard shortcuts to specialized cheat sheets.
Give it a try:
You can also easily add this search engine plug-in to your browser so you can automatically protect yourself when you browse. It works with pretty much everything – Internet Explorer, FireFox , Google Chrome, iPhones, iPads and Android devices